'Chitrali women no more confined to the four walls'

CHITRAL, Dec 29: Women in Chitral are asserting in all spheres of life and are joining the fields hitherto meant for only males and the inflexibility and rigidity of the society is fading away and all it can be attributed to the generalization of education since 1970s. Talking to this correspondent here on Saturday a number of civil society and women development activists said the Chitrali woman was no more confined to her house but had entered into an active competition with males. Dr. Inayatullah Faizi, a former project manger of IUCN, said the Chitrali woman had played her role in better home management with special reference to sustainable utilization of resources. He said that the traditional role assigned to women is cooking, knitting, spinning and embroidery, poultry, livestock keeping while her role has been extended to small scale business, service in government and non-government departments. Mr. Faizi said that women-folk formed 49.14 percent of the total population of Chitral as per census of 1998 and have great potential in socio-economic development and it is heartening to notice that women are increasing constantly increasing their sphere of influence. The two rural support programs in the district – the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) and Sarhad Rural Support Program (SRSP) – had rich contributions in the organization of women which can be gauged from the fact that more than nine hundreds women organizations are active in development. Tariq Ahmed, the district program officer of SRSP, said that the organization had included special initiative in its each activity to encourage the women and emancipate them financially. He said that intensive help is imparted to women in enterprises activities and utilize the available natural resources and such projects have recently been launched in Sheshi Koh valley. A senior manager of AKRSP Fazle Malik said that the organization has launched women-specific program named Regional Women Empowerment Program (RWEP) in which different ventures have been made for political as well economic emancipation of women. He said that AKRSP, since its inception in 1983, has included a component for women development. Haider Ali, teaching in a college, said that the ratio of boys and girls getting higher education in Chitral is equal in proportion. He said that in the campus of a public sector university working in Chitral offering post-graduate classes, the ratio of girls was found higher. –Zahiruddin]]>

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